DUKEOFSWABIA.COM Podcast #003 - VOSPER
*see tracklist below
(via vosper.ca) "With roots firmly in the fertile ground of Dark Wave, EBM and Techno music, Vosper bring the listener to heady vistas of sound and tone. Where other groups wallow in the dank claustrophobia of retro-fetishism, Vosper's relentless enthusiasm for developing a singular musical voice, nourished on a shared past, guarantees the listener glimpses of, and participation in, the formation of a new sonic sensibility.
Formed by Montreal-based Edouard Le and Christopher Byron, the duo utilizes their own rich backgrounds to craft melancholic compositions in an analog mode for a digital age. Though both Le and Byron had previously collaborated, it wasn't until the formation of Vosper that the intangible qualities of their own musical ethos truly coalesced into an unique sonic world, coloured by visions of haunting pasts and future frontiers.
Through his involvement in various music projects, as well as djing in many cities alongside Andrew Weatherall, Green Velvet, Moby, Trentemoller, Dj Hell to name a few, and production and remix releases in multiple electronic music genres, Le has developed a deep understanding in production and remixing with a natural affinity for the dance floor.
In Christopher Byron, Le found a kindred spirit… Weaned on the sounds of new wave, alternative and industrial music, and particularly influenced by the genius of Alan Wilder, Byron's sound design skills and song-writing produce the melancholic strain that runs so deeply through Vosper.
Fuelled by an obsession for collecting vintage gear, the band's signature sound has been crafted using a select ensemble of hardware. Influenced by the music of early Human League, James Stinson, Nitzer Ebb and LFO, Le & Byron have fashioned an abrasively modern dynamic from the modes and mores of the past. Vosper is about the marriage of propulsive Teutonic beats to the melodic impulse of the Sheffieldian sound: muscular industrial-strength rhythm finding its highest expression in its companionship to the pensive and wistful despondency of memory.
Their debut release EP on highly regarded Parisian label Meant Records marks a great head start for this up and coming band."
Interview: (by Alexander Leblanc, for dukeofswabia.com)
How did you two meet? How/Where did it all start?
Ed: "We actually met at work and happen to share the same office. With the similar interests in music and music technology, we decided to write some tracks and the studio chemistry just clicked."
Please explain the name 'Vosper' and how you came up with it.
Chris: "Vosper was the name of a ship builder in England, My Great Grandfather worked there."
Who were your early musical influences?
Chris: "I guess I would say that the bands which inspired me to start composing melodic songs were Skinny Puppy, Depeche Mode, NIN, and Front242."
Ed: "For me, the bands that lead me to Vosper was probably Human League, Dopplereffekt, Green Velvet, Anthony Rother, and Swayzak."
What is your academic background?
Chris: "Bachelor degree in Communications Studies with Specialization in sound."
Ed: "Bachelor degree in "Graphic Design."
It may be difficult to merge two minds into one. As a duo, how would you describe your "production process"?
Chris: "It's hard to describe, the pre-production process is always different for each song. Sometimes we would just do a live hardware jam sequenced without a computer, and record the audio into Logic and build and arrange from there. Other times we would sketch out ideas together in Ableton. Or we would each compose complete songs in our own studios and then interchange the projects, reconstructing them together into finished tracks. But the end production process is always the same. All the song parts would be re-record with live tweaking of our analog synths and effects through the 1073 or GreatRiver preamps, then bounced "to tape" through our Anamod ATS-1."
You guys are said to be obsessed with collecting vintage gear. For all the 'tech-heads' out there, could you be more specific? What equipment do you use in the studio to make Vosper come to life?
Ed: "A lot of gear comes and goes, but the current setup consists of a Minimoog Model D, SH-101, Jupiter 4, Juno-60, TR-808 (x2), TR-909, TR-606, Pro-one, Matrix 1000, SE-1x, Oberkorn, Octatrack, Machinedrum, Anamod ATS-1, SSL G-bus Compressor, Eventide H3000 fx unit and some vintage Boss analog delays and spring reverb and a few vintage EHX pedals…."
With support already from Chloé, Daniel Avery (StopMakingMe), Matt Walsh, Electric Rescue, etc, were you expecting such a great and relatively quick response to your work?
Chris: "We wrote music that we wanted to hear, so we did not know what to expect. We just hoped that others would like it as much as we do. We are very grateful and flattered that our favourite DJ's at the moment are playing and charting our tracks… it feels awesome."
If you could be in the studio with the person of your choice, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Chris: " that's an extremely tough question actually… If only I could just merge Daniel Miller, Flood, Cevin Key, Gareth Jones, Alan Wilder and Trent Reznor into one person! But realistically, I guess right now it would be Arnaud Rebotini. The emotional feel of his arrangements/melodies, along with his synth programming, is just brilliant. Every time I play 'Echoes' or 'The First Thirteen Minutes Of Love'… I just want to go into the studio and jam."
Ed : "Probably James Stinson, jamming with him on analog sequencers… but unfortunately it won't happen"
If you could DJ the event of your choice, which would it be and why?
Ed: "Hard to say, I never thought of a "dream" event or venue to play. Maybe playing in an underground warehouse party in a middle of nowhere with a no lights, ghetto setup, lazer strobes and smoke with a crazy crowd going ape-shit on your music all night long. That would be an event of choice I guess! Well, the perfect place to play Horrorist's "One Nite in NYC."
What music are you excited about these days?
Ed : "These days, I really dig all the various music projects of James Stinson and Gerald Donald. Their music is simple but very effective and it never gets boring, even if sometimes it's only the same loop playing for the whole track without fills or breaks. I'm also really into the two first Human League albums before both Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh quit the band to form Heaven 17. Can't stop listening to them. The synth lines and sound design is awesome, love the warm and dark analog synths from the late 70s! As for more recent artists, I've been DJing and enjoy tracks by Alex Arnout, Sishi Rosch, and The Countach.
Chris:" At this moment, it's a mixture of artists like Kan3da, The Other People Place, the Hacker and Marc Houle "
Vosper's debut EP is being released on Parisian label 'Meant Records', April 09th, 2012. What else should we look forward to in 2012?
Ed: "Our second EP on Meant Records, perhaps a live PA and a few remixes."
And finally, if you had to pick only one record to listen to for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Chris: "Depeche Mode's 'Violator' "
Ed : "Human League, 'Reproduction'"
Thank you guys for your time!
Bozzwell - Ambition (My Favorite Robot Remix) - Clouded Vision
The Other People Place - Let Me Be Me - Warp
The Countach - Freeze - Metis
Jenny Goes Dirty - Amour Solitaire - Kill The Dj
Vosper - Hidden Faces - Meant
Xenia Beliayeva - Soldier - Black Fox Music
Lala By - Pendulum (Chloe remix) - My Favorite Robot
Thugfucker, Tale of Us, Life & Death - Morgana - Visionquest
Martin Landsky - The Composer (Sasse Remix) - Pokerflat
Bubba - We Need A Break - Clouded Vision
Marc Houle - Undercover - Items & Things
Tomas More - Road To Nowhere - Item & Things
Sishi Rosch - Doing The Nasty - Sultry Vibes
DSR - Babaloo - Warp
Nhar - Betrayer - 200
Electronic Suicide - Ich Wollt - Unknown
Also, check out:
- Duke of Swabia Podcast #001 - LOUIE FRESCO
- Duke of Swabia Podcast #002 - AQUARIUS HEAVEN